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Minimization of Violence Against Men

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 11:59 am Wed 23rd January 2008

A National Radio interview this morning was another example of how violence against men by women is minimized. The mayor of Waitomo, Mark Ammon, described being assaulted by a Maori woman, Kahu Hohaia when he went to walk on a beach. Ms Hohaia believes visitors do not have a right to walk on the beach because it ajoins Maori land and a burial site, and she appears to have appointed herself as an enforcer of that rule even though her view is not consistent with the legal status of the beach.

According to Mr Ammon she assaulted him violently including trying to stab him with a walking stick that had broken during the assault. Although both parties have laid complaints with police, in the radio interview Ms Hohaia would not describe her claimed version of events. The male interviewer was more challenging towards Mr Ammon than towards Ms Hohaia, claimed he “admitted” to going to walk on the beach in the first place, showed absolutely no empathy or recognition of how traumatic an assault as described would have been for him. Imagine if a woman described being assaulted whilst walking in town,and the interviewer challenged her with “so you admit walking in town that night?”. That would be seen as victim-blaming. But that seems fine when done to men.

At the end of the interview the announcer wished Ms Hohaia “good luck with it” and “I hope that you and Mark Ammon can sort out your differences one way or t’other”. He then described the incident as “…he’s had a bit of a dust up with Kahu and it looks like that will end up in Court.” Just imagine if a female claimed she had been assaulted by a male with a weapon whilst walking legally on a beach, and the interviewer described it as “a bit of a dust-up”, showed great respect and friendliness towards the assaulter, wished the assaulter good luck in sorting out differences, implied the victim was to blame for being assaulted, and generally spoke about the assault in patronizing and light-hearted ways.

This is the attitude facing male victims of female violence. We have numerous accounts from men who have tried to lay assault complaints against women that the police have refused to act on or have treated casually. Numerous accounts from men who phoned police when they were being assaulted at home by their partner, only to find they were then the ones arrested and charged for domestic violence. Numerous accounts of women being given very light sentences for similar acts of violence that caused men to be given harsh sentences. When women kill their partners we see other women marching in support of the offender and seeking to blame the dead victim. Violence towards men is minimized or accepted, the rules are very different for violent men than for violent women.

Many people, including many judges, reason that the current attitudes are appropriate because men are stronger and they still commit more serious violence on average. They claim that women are more likely to feel really scared or traumatized by violence from males than the other way round. On this basis they argue that violence by a male should be taken more seriously. This argument is little more than blatant sexism, promoting a dangerous trend of applying laws differently to different groups for the same offending behaviour. One could equally apply the argument to race, calling for offending by Maori to be prosecuted more vigorously, sentenced more harshly and generally seen as worse because Maori commit more serious violence on average than do Pakeha. But that wouldn’t be acceptable. The argument is shown up for what it is, discrimination.

Further, the claim that women will be more frightened because they are weaker etc is sexist and largely inaccurate. Men’s fear may not always be of not being able to protect themselves from serious injury, though often they will feel exactly that fear especially when a woman is threatening or assaulting them with a weapon. But men I have talked to who have been assaulted by women describe being traumatized in various other ways. Many men live by a moral code that they will not assault women, and this can cause them to feel helpless and frightened when attacked by a woman. Many men are aware that they are likely to be seen as the culprit if they use any self-defensive force, and this results in a fear perhaps similar to that of a strong slave being assaulted by the slave owner; the slave is capable of overpowering the owner but knows he is then likely to be harmed more severely by the system that supports the slave owner. The fear many men experience is that they will have to succumb to being hurt because they see it as simply too immoral and/or dangerous to do anything else. Then there is the emotional trauma/loss of trust/sense of rejection etc of experiencing your partner or any other citizen behaving violently and wanting to harm you; that will differ little between the genders.

The interview was a good example of modern sexism and an opportunity to explore this important issue. The interview can be heard through the National Radio web page for the next couple of weeks, and after that I can arrange for anyone who is interested to hear it.

16 Responses to “Minimization of Violence Against Men”

  1. Alastair says:

    Good point Hans. Though no convictions were entered I have entered this in the violent females database. Does this mean I have no cultural sensitivity?

  2. perseus says:

    Wife punched me in the head while driving with my kids in the car and was going to smash my head in with cricket bat on SH1, said she would kill me and cut off my fingers at night. Went to Police station, where i was interviewed for 5 minutes WITH HER AT MY SIDE, i was sent away and she was interviewed alone for 30 minutes and came out with several pamphlets about domestic violence AGAINST WOMEN ! Later the policeman said “In NZ culture, it is always the man who commits the domestic violence”.

    She called Police after a small argument, she was drunk, i had not been drinking, i was told to spend the night in a hotel.

    6 months later she took out a Protection Order against me (I have never touched her)

    In England, after a female assault a man, the man is arrested 20% of the time.

    Favourite question for Police to ask males assaulted by females is “What did you do to deserve that ?”

  3. rejected says:

    wife had been drinking heavily. Caused an altercation at the pub. Took her home. Started an argument over nothing. Started to punch me in the face. I pushed her away. She came back and started to punch me again. I pushed her to the floor. She threatens to call the cops and her brother, yells at me to get out of the house. She wakes up her daughter. Goes downstairs to her room. I have to go past her daughters room to get out and as I go past, she physically assaults me IN FRONT OF HER OWN DAUGHTER! Don’t know what to do….

  4. Allan Harvey says:

    Hi Rejected,
    If you plan to stay then what you do is get a protection order against her. You also need to take great care how you express the altercation that occurred last night. See a family Lawyer today (this morning) or there are lots here who can help you if you need assistance with the application for a protection order. Go without notice and if in Court by 3;00pm today you will have it in your hand by 5;30pm. It makes any further such nonsense a little less likely and if it occurrs then you can get help from the cops. Without it the cops will always drag you off no matter how much she is the aggressor. Don’t live with this woman without the protection of the order. It may not stop the aggression but it does determine who is the aggressor.

  5. perseus says:

    Rejected, If you do not act, one day she will get a P.O against YOU like mine did , even if you have never touched her, she will say that she was merely frightened of you and the judge will make an order against you and it will have CATASTROPHIC consequences. I agree with Allan Harvey. You should organize an “ex-parte” P.O asap , today ! If you do not you will be in the same situation as i was. Do it now, i will lend you my car if you like .

    In my case the P.O was just another part of her violence, and it cost her nothing. The P.O will cost you a couple of hundred bucks, but it is important that you get one. Because she is a woman, she will laugh at the court order and will not realise the gravity of it and what is letting herself for, but you can be sure that she will be a lot more understanding when she feels the gravity of the law. If not , it will be you in that position, and you will not be understanding, you will be extremely bitter due the complete injustice of it all. Don’t go for counselling either, for such a violent woman, you MUST get a P.O ! Please ! Don’t go to the police either, there is a strong chance that YOU will be arrested, she will just tell the police that YOU were violent to her (mine said that i had tried to strangle her), fathers must know that , it is best to get a Protection Order

  6. perseus says:

    Regarding the initial topic, as many men as possible should be bombarding these ignorant lot with messages, COME ON Fathers, the EMail address is

    RNZ@radionz.co.nz They seem to respond to feedback, if it was about violence against a woman, hundreds of women would complain ! If more fathers took action we could change things

  7. Perseus says:

    Having listened to the Radio article, it is mildly annoying, there was a difference in the way the two were treated, the interviewer just didn’t cotton to the fact that the mayor had been attacked quite badly and was just trying agressively interview the mayor. But as for major example of male discrimination, i don’t think so, that goes on daily throughout NZ every day , i am sure

  8. Perseus says:

    For me this is nothing to do with Gender Wars, but everything to do with Waitangi Treaty wars. But the violence against the man WAS minimised , yes I agree. But not a good example to spark the wrath of Dads

  9. dad4justice says:

    Alan Harvey adds to the problem by giving bad advice. Can’t you all see that lawyers are the problem . I sometimes wonder about the motives of some wayward advice ;

    “See a family Lawyer today (this morning) or there are lots here who can help you if you need assistance with the application for a protection order. “

  10. Allan Harvey says:

    Hi Peter, With respect some people need to use lawyers. If people are not articulate, confident, able to think on their feet then lawyers are a fact of life. What is your solution to thew problem? It does people in need no good to make a ham fisted application and have it rejected by the Court. In many FC’s around the country it may never even be accepted by the Court at step one due to some minor procedural error.
    You may find lawyers have been part of your problem but they do work for the majority of FC litigants as evidenced by their representation in about 99% of cases. I would venture that the only four areas of the country where self representation is common are the four areas where UoF is or has been active.
    What would you say the situation is in Christchurch? I was in Dunedin last year and the FC co-ordinator told me that they hardly ever get a self-represented case there.
    Ministry of Justice Research Unit have a research project that was completed last year on self-represented litigants that has never been released. Union of Fathetrs is planning to seek its “draft” report under Offical Information Act if it doesn’t appear before the end of February.

  11. Hans Laven says:

    Hi Perseus. You are correct that the interview wasn’t a major travesty of justice, but as I stated it was a good example for exploring modern sexism. I didn’t intend to rouse the wrath of fathers, simply to draw attention to a public example of violence against a man being minimized, something even the interviewer probably had no awareness of. The same widespread attitude that the interviewer brought to the interview underlies the way many men are abused by the system for being victims of female violence.

  12. MurrayBacon says:

    Regarding minimisation of violence against men – violence seems to have many facets, which often have quite different characteristics.
    Measures that prove effective against one type of violence may or may not prove effective against others.
    Conclusion – to be effective AND to do more good than harm, we need to study what is happening and carefully check the effectiveness and relevance and hidden costs of corrective measures.
    Unfortunately NZ research does seem to be a little one-eyed, perhaps due to Government “funding pressures” manipulating the “values” of the researchers. Australian research appears to be be more open to the breadth of issues faced and more willing to face these issues with balanced values.
    Research discussing only murders is likely to be feminist motivated, as women can escape the murder rap, by claiming temporary insanity, whereas men get a longer and worse rap if they try insanity, as their’s is viewed as a permanent problem.
    Example: Siblicide killing or homicide of a sibling – appears to be mainly a sister killing brother phenomenon. Whilst this is only a small fraction of all homicide, corrective actions such as throwing the book at men, obviously cannot have any useful impact at reducing siblicide!

    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi255.pdf
    See page 4

    Hans, I commend you for drawing our attention to these issues.
    The solution in NZ will require lots of everyday people talking to their politicians and discussing the values they want our Government to be run on.
    Apathy serves no-one and only wastes our lives and our children’s too.
    Best regards, MurrayBacon.

  13. whanga says:

    They often attack when you are asleep.My first effort grabbed my thumb,pulled it back and smashed it.It is still about twice the size of my left one 10 years later and hurts a little.I left her over this and the police ignored my complaints.She blamed PMT.She also threw knives at me in front of the kids.I was soon given a protection order against me ex parte as a result of phoning my kids at a time that was inconvenient to her.I have never been able to get rid of this and have no contact with my 12 year old daughter as a result.I regard myself as lucky to have escaped with my life.
    With the second effort I woke up and found her standing over my bed with a knife at 2 am.I took my daughter and left and got a Protection Order but unbelievably she got one too as the judge believed it appropriate there should be mutual orders.No reason for this was given.I was forced to go to 12 counselling sessions.This order has been used to stop me contacting her now too.Again my overall thinking is that I am happy to have escaped with my life.In Greg Hallett’s excellent book “The Family Court and other experiments” many statistics about the strong predominance of female over male violence are produced.The problem of course is that men rarely complain and when they do the women turn it round and make up stories which are believed by the ridiculous police and court staff and lawyers.

  14. Martin Swash says:

    My wife, [name removed by moderator], also threatened to cut off my fingers and kill me when i slept, Whanga, but your story is obviously much worse !

    But I did go to the police, because i knew she was capable of doing this in reality. She told the cop that i had tried to strangle her the night before. I hope to tell my sons one day what their lovely charming African mother did to their father, and i wonder what [name removed by moderator]’s reactions would be if our twin sons had a wife like her.

  15. paul says:

    Lets face it we are going to die. The ads say if you smoke you will die, if you drive thru intersections you will die, if you speed you will die, if you drink and drive you will die… You could have one bottle of beer and then have a smoke and drive thru a train crossing. and an intersection.. well according to the government you will be dead. I tried it but it didn’t work !! perhaps they should say, try and defend yourself, try and see your kids as that is what does kill you… It is killing me.. so i have made the decision to leave it. I could defend myself and I have good reason too. However the courts work on stress and how much they can take from you. I love my kids, but I am no good to them dead. So to the selfish bitches out there I hope you die in hell. You selfish no good scum of society. You think you have won, but at the end of the day your ignorant, self absorbed bitches. You are totally responsible for society today so do not complain when your children get into trouble, do not complain when they have killed someone because of there hard and differcuilt upbringing… YOU brought them up. You are the guilty ones. You are the ones that took them from there fathers hand. You are the ones that mislead them, and you are the ones that better vote for Helen Clarke or some lesbian to fight your case!! I hope you just all rot in hell, and i believe you will… Lets face it woman are selfish, eveil people. That is why in history they were suppressed. It was for thr good of human kind. In india they still believe it is the order of the man, the son the cow and then the woman.. they have 1.2 billion people and it works. In new zealand we have 4 million people and it doesn’t work. ho humm ….

  16. Martin Swash says:

    BRILLIANTLY SAID PAUL!!!!

    You must have lots and lots of emotions now to get over this, Do not listen to people who say “get over it, forgive” and all that shit, it is a time for hate, so cry, shout, drink lots, do bad things. We are all with you ! Nobody can you tell you what to do, we are men, we do things for ourselves. RELEASE YOUR EMOTIONS, it is a grieving process that you are going through ! It is like someone has died, write mails about women and the injustices that you have faced. RELEASE YOUR EMOTIONS then you will be OK !!!!!!!!!

    Men have built the world, women rely on social engineering.

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